A user of house and flat share website EasyRoommate has been banned after advertising a spare bed in his room to single women for £1 per month.
He claimed that the reason for the unusual arrangement was because he is scared of sleeping alone.
The user tried to upload the advertisement to the site earlier this month. However, EasyRoommate moderators blocked the advert before it went live, as they felt there was “suspicion around the sexual intent from the landlord”.
The site was then unable to contact the landlord to clarify the situation, claims Michael Benjamin, Head of Global Marketing at EasyRoommate.
The advert stated that the ideal tenant would be a female student. The landlord added that she should be single.
The advert for the property in Gants Hill, northeast London, read: “I am renting another bed in my spacious ensuite bedroom for free due to autophobia, which is fear of being and sleeping alone.
“The tenant must be single female, clean, organised and sociable.”
Benjamin says that the landlord has been banned from using the site until he makes contact with the customer service team.
He explains that about 5% of adverts are blocked before going live during the pre-moderation process. Around 1.5% of adverts have been removed once going live, if the moderator finds that unsuitable changes have been made to the descriptions.
CEO of EasyRoommate, Albin Serviant, says: “We believe that flatsharing can be a wonderful experience, given the right conditions.
“Because we don’t want to leave to chance, we have a dedicated moderation team working around the clock to ensure the advertised flats are genuine.
“As a word of advice, if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.”1
In student newspaper The Tab, Lizzy Woods – a student of Religion, Politics and Society – insists: “That’s so creepy! Fair enough if you need a roommate because of a condition like autophobia, but I doubt this condition is specific enough to dictate the need for his roommate to be both female and single.”1